News Categories: Affairs

26 Nov
By: NGPU 0

Nakuru Investors urged to provide lifts, ramps, and escalators to ease vertical mobility for PwDs

By Nancy Naholi
People Living with Disabilities (PWDs) continue to face a lot of inconvenience in reaching upper levels of multistorey buildings as they have to make do with climbing staircases if no other means exist.

Shoppers and other commercial space users equally rue that it is difficult to reach display places on upper floors as they have to climb staircases with their luggage.

As a result, the County Government of Nakuru has continued to make every effort to operationalize and enforce the requirements of key planning parameters to ensure the comfort of the citizens is enhanced.

In 2018 and 2019, the county government gazetted an urban enforcement notice that was intended to guide property owners and other urban users on critical land-use improvement measures contained in the said legal frameworks. Improvements highlighted in the urban notice included the painting of buildings, paving of walkways, waterproofing of buildings and use of registered professionals such as architects and structural engineers in the building process.

Property owners have been encouraged to continue implementing these land-use parameters for existing developments while the county enforces the same for new development applications received for approval.

In the recently held AAK Convention in Naivasha, H.E Governor Lee Kinyanjui, challenged the built environment professionals to take up their rightful role in helping Nakuru attain city status as well as in enhancing and improving the urban fabric.

This was echoed by the CECM for Land, Housing and Physical Planning Francis Mwangi.

“Professionals have played a critical role in improving the city fabric and we continue to see the property owner’s present modern building proposals for development application scrutiny. For instance, we look forward to the opening of new malls in the future that will enhance urban space and use”, Remarked Mr. Mwangi the CECM for the department responsible for urban development.

The department`s Chief Officer Judyleah Waihenya concurred citing the improvements in urban space use and efforts put in place to mainstream use for sectors of urban users particularly persons living with disabilities.

“We encourage the efforts property owners are making particularly here in Nakuru in PLWDs mainstreaming such as the provision of lifts, ramps, and escalators to ease vertical mobility for this sector of society. This is in keeping with our efforts in operationalizing the urban enforcement notice issued in 2018 and 2019. Equally and as we recognize the role of professionals in the built environment, we will continue to ensure new developments meet industry standards, “noted the chief officer

She added that every effort made to ease vertical movement in buildings will be of huge relief to the elderly and the physically challenged.

An escalator for instance is equipped with sensors and moves automatically when passengers reach it. Not only do they provide improved accessibility and safety for all users but they also enhance the value of buildings and quality of space.

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21 Jul
By: NGPU 0

LEVERAGING ON ABMT IN PROVISION OF AFFORDABLE HOUSING THROUGH HOUSING COOPERATIVES IN NAKURU COUNTY

BY NANCY NAHOLI AND MERCY KIHUGU
The County Government of Nakuru under the leadership of H.E Governor Lee Kinyanjui has in its endeavor to operationalize the Big Four Agenda on Affordable Housing made deliberate efforts to empower stakeholders in the built environment to help lower the cost of construction.

Project costs are determined by a number of parameters that include project time, project materials cost, cost of labor and also the legal and administrative structures and frameworks in place.

In order to lower costs of construction in as far as materials are concerned and to offer variety in the industry, the devolved unit has initiated training and sensitization of stakeholders in the production of interlocking blocks as an alternative material for use in walling.

Working with partners in the sector, the administration has provided the capacity to the youth and other organized groups by working through the housing cooperative sector.

In Kaptembwa the Vision IV Youth Housing Cooperative Society Ltd has been identified to offer training in ABMT in partnership with the Department of Land, Housing and Physical Planning under the Directorate of Housing.

Training takes place in their demonstration yard in Kaptembwa Ward.

Other centers where training takes place include the Kagoto Vocational Training Centre in Kiamaina Ward in Bahati Subcounty, Mirera VTC in Hell’s Gate Ward in Naivasha Subcounty and Molo VTC in Molo Ward of Molo Subcounty.

These VTCs have been established in collaboration between the Department responsible for Vocational training and Youth as well at the department of Land and each has been equipped with a Hydra form and a Makiga block making machine.

The department has also played a key role in providing prototype house designs targeting low-income areas and informal settlements.

The CECM in charge Mr Francis Mwangi said the construction materials and prototype designs are cost-effective, innovative, environmentally friendly as well as improve the quality of buildings.

“Considering that the building materials account for about 50 percent of the total construction cost,ABMT will be instrumental in lowering the cost of construction since the new technology can reduce material cost by 40 percent,”Said the CECM

In addition to the CECM’s statement, the Chief Officer, Judyleah Waihenya said the interlocking blocks are easy to produce, sustainable, and affordable. She encouraged housing cooperatives to liaise with the department to have its members trained.

The Director of Housing Arch Maruhi Maina stated that other initiatives being introduced to housing cooperative members include architectural scale model, making appreciation sessions as well as benchmark visits to manufacturers and factories of other alternative materials in the country as well as visits to projects completed using alternative materials.

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